Ubuntu 20.04, codenamed “Focal Fossa”, was released on April 23, 2020.
Are you excited about Ubuntu 20.04? Let’s see what this release brings with long-term support.
Overview of the new features of Ubuntu 20.04
Since this is an LTS release, stability is of the utmost importance. The Canonical team will not make any drastic changes here.
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS users would certainly notice visual changes and performance improvements, but I don’t think you’ll see many differences between 19.10 and 20.04.
1. Additional default theme options
Canonical is experimenting with themes again. In Ubuntu 19.10, a dark version appeared in the standard Yaru theme. In Ubuntu 20.04, there are three variants of the standard Yaru theme: Light, Dark, and Standard.
You don’t even need to install GNOME Tweaks to switch between the default theme options. This option is built into the Settings app.
Ubuntu 20.04 also has a slightly different look with an emphasis on eggplant as the second accent color (instead of the usual blue and green).
2. GNOME 3.36 and all related visual and performance improvements
Ubuntu 20.04 uses the latest release of GNOME 3.36 release. This means that all the new 3.36 features are also available in Ubuntu 20.04.
For example, the lock screen has been updated.
Now you no longer need to scroll down to go to the lock screen. One click-and you will be on the login screen.
3. Turn off all desktop notifications with the Do not Disturb button.
Distracted by notifications? You can use the ‘do not disturb’ option to disable them.
4. Fractional scaling
Ubunu finally supports fractional scaling. If you have always noticed that icons at 100% scale look too small or too large at 200%, you can use fractional scaling.
When this feature is enabled, you can set the zoom to 125, 150, 175, and 200 percent.
Fractional scaling didn’t work for my monitors. The system returned a hardware restriction error.
5. Don’t like the Dock? Can you finally get rid of it
I know a few people who don’t like the launcher or the dock with the dock bar, which are usually on the left side of the screen.
In older versions, you could change its location to the bottom or right side or hide it when the app window got close to it, but you couldn’t hide it forever.
Now you can disable it completely. There is a new application called, not surprisingly, Extensions, for managing extensions, and you can use it to disable the dock panel completely.
6. Advantage of snap over apt
Canonical continues to promote the universal Snap packaging format. Previously, Ubuntu used the apt command to install the program, but now, in the new release, Ubuntu 20.04 offers two options: snap and apt, which immediately catches the eye, since the order of enumeration begins with snap.
7. Linux Kernel 5.4
Ubuntu 20.04 contains the latest LTS 5.4 kernel. This means you get built-in support for exFAT and all the other performance improvements, as well as support for the new hardware that comes with it.
8. Fast installation, fast loading
Thanks to the new compression algorithms, it now takes less time to install Ubuntu 20.04. In addition, Ubuntu 20.04 also loads faster compared to 18.04.
I used systemd-analyze to analyze the boot time in both versions.
9. Improved ZFS support
Ubuntu became the first Linux distribution to introduce ZFS as a file system with the release of Ubuntu 19.10. In Ubuntu 20.04, ZFS support is improved.
10. No more Amazon and python 2 apps
For the past eight years or so, Ubuntu has included an Amazon app installed by default. This so-called Amazon app did nothing but open your country’s Amazon website (if there is one) in a web browser via an Ubuntu partner link. The Amazon shopping app is disappearing with Ubuntu 20.04.
Python 2 was first released in 2000. Twenty years later, Python 2 has finally reached the end of its life. Ubuntu 20.04 will no longer support Python 2, and you’ll have to settle for Python 3.
11. WireGuard VPN
Although Ubuntu 20.04 will not use the 5.6 kernel, at least not immediately, it supports WireGuard in the 5.4 kernel.
WireGuard is a new round in the VPN industry and thus the inclusion of WireGuard in its core should give some boost to Ubuntu 20.04.
12. No 32-bit Ubuntu 20.04 systems
Ubuntu has not provided an ISO for 32-bit computers for several years. But at least existing 32-bit Ubuntu users can still upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04.
Now there is no such possibility. Upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 is not possible if you are using 32-bit Ubuntu 18.04. If you try to run the update, you will see an error of this kind.
In other words, if you’re running 32-bit Ubuntu 18.04, you’ll have to stay with it until April 2023.
13. Some more improvements “under the hood”
There are several of them:
- GNOME 3.36 is less resource-intensive and easy to use.
- Improved Thunderbolt support
- Most of the software has been updated to newer versions.
- You will get the NVIDIA drivers along with the distribution package.
I showed some of the above improvements in this video. You can take a look:
Things You Should Know about Ubuntu 20.04
Ubuntu 20.04 is an LTS (Long-term Support) release. It will be maintained for five years. This means that if you are using 20.04, you can use it until April 2025 without having to upgrade your computer to a new version of Ubuntu.
Corporate customers can purchase extended support for another five years.
If you are using Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 19.10, you will be able to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 from your system.
If you are using Ubuntu 16.04, you will first need to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04, and then to Ubuntu 20.04.
How to download Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is out tonight (UK time). The distribution will be officially available in a couple of hours.
If you really don’t want to wait, you can download the daily build. This is almost the same as the final build. Keep your system up to date and you will be at the same level as the final stable release.
What feature do you like most about the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release?